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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Stories this week include… Meta fined record €1.2bn for busting EU privacy rules, Mobile fraud: Thieves ‘shoulder surfing’ victims to steal phones, Instagram planning Twitter rival and much more…

Meta fined record €1.2bn for busting EU privacy rules

Mobile Europe

Meta (formerly Facebook) has been fined €2.1 billion by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) for breaking the European Union’s rules on moving personal data beyond its borders. This is the biggest fine so far for breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will be five years old on 25 May.

The previous record holder was Amazon (Luxembourg) at €746 million.

The DPC found Meta had contravened the conditions for moving data overseas under the GDPR, in this case to Meta’s data centres in the US. The company has been instructed “to suspend any future transfer of personal data to the US within the period of five months from the date of notification”.

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Mobile fraud: Thieves ‘shoulder surfing’ victims to steal phones


Criminals are getting smarter at targeting victims to gain access to banking apps on mobile phones, a senior UK fraud officer has said.
Detective Superintendent John Roch says the technology behind the apps is secure but criminals are getting better at exploiting human behaviour.
Thieves typically “shoulder surf” victims to catch them entering their PIN before stealing the phone.
The financial impact of the crime can be enormous.

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Instagram planning Twitter rival – report

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Instagram is planning a text-based app to compete with Twitter, The South China Morning Post reports.

Citing “people familiar with the matter”, the report said that Instagram is currently testing the project with celebrities and influencers. It also said that, according to Lia Haberman, who teaches social and influencer marketing at UCLA, and who published a screenshot of an early app description on her own Twitter account, the app could be ready for its full launch as early as next month. The screenshot also suggests that the app may eventually be compatible with other Twitter competitor apps, including Mastodon.

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Sony Now Has Multiple Studios Working on Mobile Games


Sony is working on expanding its gaming ecosystem into mobile and already has internal studios developing games for the platform. A few years ago, the Japanese company began expanding into the PC gaming space, which has been somewhat successful, though there haven’t been many releases so far. And recently PlayStation Studios confirmed that it plans to stagger the PC release of PS5 games by about two to three years.

PlayStation will also be moving more aggressively into cloud gaming, with CEO Jim Ryan revealing that the company’s plans for growth in that space will be shared in the coming months. In a business call on May 23, Ryan stated that Sony and PlayStation are aware that cloud gaming and portability are increasingly important to gamers, and the company is beginning to focus more heavily on those two aspects of the industry.

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How China Became a Leader in Digital Payments and Wider Digitalisation

Fintech Times

China, with the second-largest economy in the world, has taken the spotlight on the world stage; outshining the rest as takes the lead for digital payments and enabling wider digital transformation.

It was not too long ago that China’s economy was often regarded as lagging behind and creating ‘cheaper’ products. However, with its population of over 1.4 billion, its economic development and transformation have enabled it to invest heavily in research and development, foster entrepreneurship and attract foreign direct investment (FDI). As a result, it now leads the way for innovation, technology and adoption.

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“FleeceGPT” mobile apps target AI-curious to rake in cash

SC Media

OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the large-language-model-powered artificial intelligence application, has dominated technology media coverage and permeated popular culture. Hoping to cash in on curiosity about ChatGPT, we’ve seen a spike in mobile apps claiming connection to the AI platform that fall into a category we refer to as “fleeceware,”  apps that have behaviors similar to these:

Their functionality is available for free through either the mobile OS itself or other sources online.
They push the user toward enrolling in a short free trial that converts to a high recurring subscription charge to rake in money from unsuspecting users.

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How is Augmented reality Transforming the Retail Industry?

XR Today

Augmented reality (AR) is an immersive technology that unlocks a variety of benefits for the retail sector. It is much easier to implement for shops, conferences, and expos than virtual reality (VR). AR technologies are available on millions of Android and iOS smartphones, while the latter requires specialised hardware.

Online shoppers can also experience hands-on retail demos, combining convenient digital content with personalised physical shopping experiences. Over time, retailers have seen a massive rise across the AR market for their goods and services.

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AI messaging; slow on the uptake


While some claim ChatGPT 4.0 can enable a new wave of business messaging, George Malim finds enterprises do not trust the AI chatbot and legal and regulatory issues with it are yet to be resolved.

The messaging market has been looking to add functionality to become richer and more targeted without adding costs. Automation and the application of artificial intelligence provide a means to achieve this, but acceptance of the technology will take time.

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How SMS, DCB and dumber phones are going top drive the market in 2023

Telemedia Online

The importance of messaging and engagement can’t be overstated. The world of ecommerce – already worth $5.3trn globally and set to hit more than $8trn by 2027 – relies now on customer engagement across a rich variety of channels.

And it is a global phenomenon. A recent study of Middle Eastern consumers out this week finds that chat apps and SMS are now the key ways consumers want to communicate – and be communicated with – by the brands they interact with.

According to data from Mitto, 41% of consumers in the region want to interact with these channels alone. No more email for brand communications, things now have to be real-time and instant.

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